New law in Bahrain on environment to be debated

Law stipulates death penalty as the maximum punishment for damaging the environment

  

The Shura Council is set to continue debating a tough new environment law during its weekly session on Sunday.

The law stipulates death penalty as the maximum punishment for damaging the environment, or fines of BD1 million.

Bahrain’s upper chamber of the National Assembly has approved the legislation in principle during its session last Sunday.

It has approved 37 of the 125 articles of the government-drafted law, except for article 17 on exceptional cases that would see the law ignored to protect human lives, establishments and work sites.

The Supreme Council for Environment has already underlined the importance of issuing the law soon to replace the existing one introduced in 1996.

JAILED

The new legislation, approved by Parliament last year, would see those who import, bring, store, transport, bury or sink dangerous material or waste jailed for up to three years and fined between BD15,000 and BD100,000.

However, if the material or waste are nuclear, then the punishment will not be less than life in prison, which carries a 25-year sentence, or the death penalty, with fines of between BD100,000 and BD1m.

Meanwhile, the Shura Council will also debate a proposal concerning strategic stock reserves of consumer staples after it was put off last Sunday.

Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh refused to let members vote on the proposed legislation last Sunday without a debate, saying it was very important and had to be dealt with properly.

The legislation aims to ensure sustainable sufficient supply of strategic commodities, maintain market and price stability and prevent monopolistic practices, achieve food security and protect national economy.

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